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bread definition


This page has 12 definitions of bread in English, Old English, and Spanish, Castilian. Bread is a noun and verb. Examples of how to use bread in a sentence are shown. Also define these 21 related words and terms: foodstuff, bake, dough, cereal, money, coat, breadcrumb, breadth, broad, spread, mesh, net, embroidery, braid, bit, piece, morsel, crumb, vosotros, vosotras, and brear.

English bread definition

Two loaves of bread (1).



Etymology 1

From Middle English bred, breed, from Old English brēad (fragment, bit, morsel, crumb", also "bread), from Proto-Germanic *braudą (cooked food, leavened bread), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰerw-, *bʰrew- (to boil, seethe) (see brew). Alternatively, from Proto-Germanic *braudaz, *brauþaz (broken piece, fragment), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰera- (to split, beat, hew, struggle) (see brittle). Perhaps a conflation of the two.

Cognate with Scots breid (bread), Saterland Frisian Brad (bread), West Frisian brea (bread), Dutch brood (bread), German Brot (bread), Danish and Norwegian brød (bread), Swedish bröd (bread), Icelandic brauð (bread), Albanian brydh (I make crumbly, friable, soft), Latin frustum (crumb).

Eclipsed non-native Middle English payn (bread), borrowed from Old French pain (bread).


bread (countable and uncountable, plural breads)

  1. (uncountable) A foodstuff made by baking dough made from cereals.
    We made sandwiches with the bread we bought from the bakery.
    any leftover bread can be put into the pudding.
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 8, in Mr. Pratt's Patients:
      Philander went into the next room [] and came back with a salt mackerel that dripped brine like a rainstorm. Then he put the coffee pot on the stove and rummaged out a loaf of dry bread and some hardtack.
  2. (countable) Any variety of bread.
  3. (slang, US) Money.
    • 1973, Billy Joel (lyrics and music), “Piano Man”, performed by Billy Joel:
      And they sit at the bar and put bread in my jar
      And say, "Man, what are you doing here?"
    • 2005, Jordan Houston, Darnell Carlton, Paul Beauregard, Premro Smith, Marlon Goodwin, David Brown, and Willie Hutchinson (lyrics), “Stay Fly”, in Most Known Unknown[1], Sony BMG, performed by Three 6 Mafia (featuring Young Buck, 8 Ball, and MJG):
      Tastes like fruit when you hit it; got to have bread to get it.
  4. Food; sustenance; support of life, in general.
Usage notes
Derived terms
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Dictionary:Entry layout § Translations.


bread (third-person singular simple present breads, present participle breading, simple past and past participle breaded)

  1. (transitive) to coat with breadcrumbs
    breaded fish
    • Breadcrumb definition
      A tiny piece of bread, either one that falls from bread as it is cut or eaten, or one made deliberately by crumbling bread. (1 of 3 breadcrumb definitions)
Derived terms

See also

Etymology 2

From Middle English brede, from Old English brǣdu (breadth, width, extent), from Proto-Germanic *braidį̄ (breadth). Cognate with Scots brede, breid (breadth), Dutch breedte (breadth), German Breite (breadth), Swedish bredd (breadth), Icelandic breidd (breadth).


bread (plural breads)

  1. (obsolete or Britain dialectal, Scotland) Breadth.
Derived terms

Etymology 3

From Middle English breden, from Old English brǣdan (to make broad, extend, spread, stretch out; be extended, rise, grow), from Proto-Germanic *braidijaną (to make broad, broaden).


bread (third-person singular simple present breads, present participle breading, simple past and past participle breaded)

  1. (transitive, dialectal) To make broad; spread.[1]


  1. ^ 1674, John Ray, A Collection of English Words Not Generally Used

Etymology 4

Variant of braid, from Middle English breden, from Old English brēdan, breġdan (to braid).

Alternative forms


bread (third-person singular simple present breads, present participle breading, simple past and past participle breaded)

  1. (transitive) To form in meshes; net.


bread (plural breads)

  1. A piece of embroidery; a braid.


Old English bread definition

Alternative forms

  • brēod


From Proto-Germanic *braudą, whence also Old Frisian brād (West Frisian brea), Old Saxon brōd (German Low German Broot, Brot), Dutch brood, Old High German brōt (German Brot), Old Norse brauð and Icelandic brauð (Swedish bröd).



brēad n (nominative plural brēadru) (rare, chiefly Anglian)

  1. bit, piece, morsel, crumb
    • Bit definition
      A piece of metal placed in a horse's mouth and connected to the reins to direct the animal. (1 of 17 bit definitions)
    • Piece definition
      A part of a larger whole, usually in such a form that it is able to be separated from other parts. (1 of 20 piece definitions)
  2. bread (foodstuff)



Derived terms


Spanish bread definition



  1. (Spain) Informal second-person plural (vosotros or vosotras) affirmative imperative form of brear.
    • Vosotros definition
      you (the group being addressed)
    • Vosotras definition
      you; second person feminine plural personal pronoun (1 of 9 vosotras definitions)
    • Brear definition
      indefinite plural of bre